Black Widow: Forever Red introduced readers to a different side of Natasha Romanoff. Author Margaret Stohl explored Natasha’s past, and in the present, Stohl put Natasha on a path to collide with Ava Orlova. The story continues in the sequel, Black Widow: Red Vengeance. The book dives deep into the powers and lives of Black Widow and the new Red Widow. Now we’re excited to reveal an exclusive prologue excerpt from the book, but first, I asked Stohl how Red Vengeance explores new ground for Natasha.
This book stays entirely in the present, and female friendships are key. To which I say, thank goodness. Stohl told me, “As for new character terrain, there’s been a lot of speculation about the men in Natasha’s life, but I love getting to see the women who matter to her. I think having friends who are in the trenches with you, who really get it, are critically important for everyone, even for Natasha Romanoff. As female superheroes move increasingly into the spotlight, we’re getting to see more developed female characters, more female lead characters, and best of all–more than one woman at a time! So I was happy to have Carol Danvers, as Captain Marvel, make an appearance in Red Vengeance, just as I was happy to hear about Natasha’s own female superhero friends–not to mention their secret, “girls’ only” rotating card game. Women of Marvel FTW!”
And speaking of, let’s allow ourselves to get distracted for just a moment and talk about Captain Marvel because Stohl is penning that comic’s relaunch. She said all the work she’s done for Marvel has prepared her for the next thing. She started by working on video games, then the Black Widow young adult novels, then a one-shot comic, and Captain Marvel is next. “There is nothing I am not excited about for the Captain Marvel relaunch. Mostly, I just feel overwhelmingly lucky to be a part of it, and happy to be here, and hopeful that I’ll get to stick around for a good, long time,” she said. Stohl cites Carol’s personality, working with Marvel editor Sana Amanat, the Carol Corps, and Ramon Rosales’ artwork as specific reasons she’s pumped about the comic.
Back to Red Vengeance. A key part of Forever Red was bringing Natasha and Ana together. Their relationship was just beginning when that book ended. As Stohl pointed out, Forever Red was complicated because it introduced an origin story and a legacy character at the same time. Red Vengeance finds the duo still developing but maybe along different paths. “In the sequel, both Natasha and Ava sort of embark on the same journey–they’re out for retribution–but they ultimately find themselves growing in opposite directions, ” Stohl said. “While they have a common background they’re very different people, and there’s a lot for Ava in particular to figure out as she grows into her own identity as the Red Widow. I think that’s only natural with a mentor figure and a younger hero; we see a similar dynamic going on right now with Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvelin Civil War II. I think that particular conflict always resonates with my readers because so many of them are teens finding their own way in the world for the first time. It resonates with me as an adult reader, because I’ve been on the receiving end of that conflict with my own teens!”
Let’s check out an exclusive Red Vengeance excerpt now, shall we?
Black Widow: Red Vengeance will be on shelves on October 11. Will you be purchasing it? Tell me in the comments.
Images: Marvel Press